News & Analysis

  1. phone-addiction

    Study: Smartphones are addictive, and can increase narcissistic tendencies (Also, water is wet)

    Smartphones should come with health warnings, according to a study from the University of Derby, which examined the relationships consumers form with their pocket computers. The study was informed by 256 self-selected smartphone users who responded to an online survey. That is an admittedly small sample from which conclusions can be drawn. But it seems to do little besides confirm what some have already suspected: people can be addicted to their smartphones, and the devices can encourage narcissistic behaviors.…
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  3. startup-anonymous

    Startups Anonymous: 38 Things Every Startup Founder Should Know

    [This is a weekly series that brings you raw, first-hand experiences from founders and investors in the trenches. Their story submissions are anonymous, allowing them to share openly without fear of retribution. Every Wednesday, we’ll run one new story chosen by Dana Severson, who operates StartupsAnonymous, a place for startups to share, ask questions, and  answer them in story-length posts, all anonymously. You can share your own story here.] At my age (I’m 38), I’m…
  4. ipad-airline-pilots

    The air traffic control system is shockingly insecure

    A report from the Government Accountability Office has criticized the Federal Aviation Administration for not making sure the air traffic control system is as secure as possible. The FAA’s transgressions are many: Its employees sent sensitive information over insecure connections, it failed to upgrade its systems to fix known security vulnerabilities, and it continued to use some systems even after their manufacturers stopped supporting them. The GAO’s report described many other problems. Here are some of…
  5. Classroom Desks

    Can’t argue with results: Echo360 study sees class engagement rise 49%, exam grades jump 10%

    Every company will tell you that its product is the best thing since sliced bread. But when customers deliver the same sort of glowing reviews, the praise carries a bit more weight. Active learning pioneer Echo360 is getting exactly this kind of love today in the way of a live classroom study conducted by one of its users, Dr. Colin Montpetit, assistant professor of biology at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Montpetit has published the findings of a semester-long…
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  7. amberalert

    Waze joins Facebook and Google in making sure AMBER Alerts reach as many people as possible

    It’s important for AMBER Alerts to reach as many people as possible. A study found that 74 percent of children who die after being abducted are killed within three hours. Looking out for these children could mean the difference between finding them alive or dead. That’s what makes things like Waze’s announcement that it will display AMBER Alerts in its navigation app so important. Could it be an effort to draw attention from allegations that wannabe cop-killers might…
  8. elsewhere

    Pebble Time becomes most-funded Kickstarter project

    Pebble Time, the followup to the original Pebble smartwatch, has become the most-funded Kickstarter project in the platform’s history with more than $15 million raised in just a few days. Looks like using the platform as a pre-order service works after all. [Source: Quartz]
  9. strictly-business

    Nextdoor raises $110M, mulls monetization strategy

    Nextdoor, the neighborhood-focused social network, has raised $110 million at a $1.1 billion valuation. The company reportedly hopes to “extract data” from the millions of conversations on its service to fuel its monetization strategy, which might include ads for local businesses, to justify that valuation. [Source: The New York Times]
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  11. uber

    Uber acquires deCarta mapping company

    Uber has acquired deCarta, a mapping startup, for an undisclosed sum. This is the first acquisition the company has publicly announced, though it has made others in the past. Most of deCarta’s team will join Uber, and the company itself will be run as a subsidiary of Uber, under its own name. [Source: Mashable]
  12. Grameen America

    Change agent: PayNearMe partners with Grameen America to help lift women out of poverty

    The technology community rarely gets much credit for doing anything positive for the world. Even the most successful companies get boiled down to data gluttons or profit fiends. So when a company does something selfless and purely for the communities it serves, such acts deserve to be spotlighted. PayNearMe, the cash transaction network that allows US consumers to pay bills and make online purchases using cash at more than 17,000 participating retailers across the country, has done just…
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  14. wifi-security

    FREAK shows why the gov’t’s attempts to weaken information security are horribly misguided

    Here’s another reason tech companies shouldn’t comply with government requests to weaken their security measures or include backdoors in their products: they can come around to haunt hundreds of millions of consumers more than a decade later. Researchers have found a problem with the encryption standard used in several browsers pre-loaded on Android devices and Apple’s Safari browser. It’s called FREAK — “Factoring attack on RSA-EXPORT Keys” — and its rediscovery means much of the Web is insecure. This vulnerability…
  15. runthejewels

    The ten best bands to see at this year’s SXSW

    Pando’s going to SXSW! More specifically, I’ll be attending the music/tech/culture festival in Austin later this month. I’m insanely excited, but — like all festivals where an event’s “popularity” has arguably outlived its “cool” factor — SXSW has in recent years received a healthy dose of criticism. And while I for one was delighted by the absurdity of the politically-conscious rap group Public Enemy performing on a 62-foot Doritos vending machine “powered by tweets” (both Doritos and Public Enemy are #bold, you see), the critics…
  16. netflix-problem-two

    Netflix takes its hypocrisy on net neutrality to the land down under

    Netflix is once again playing both sides of the net neutrality debate. Gigaom reports that the company has partnered with iiNet, an Internet service provider, to make sure its content doesn’t count against its customers’ broadband caps in Australia. The company is even bragging about striking the deal with iiNet — and while there’s no doubt this will be good for Netflix’s customers, it’s also somewhat hypocritical for what is widely regarded as one of net neutrality’s…
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  18. PayPal

    We’re still here: PayPal reasserts itself with new NFC payment terminal and splashy acquisition

    Apple Pay may have dominated the payments headlines in recent months, but PayPal is once again making its presence felt. And unsurprisingly, the bulk of the company’s latest moves appear aimed at regaining whatever turf it ceded, at least in public perception, to Tim Cook and company. Y Yesterday news leaked that the soon-to-be-independent PayPal will acquire Paydiant for a reported $280 million. Then, at today’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, the company debuted a NFC…
  19. sad-smartphone

    Consumers return — or get rid of — functional electronics faster than ever

    People aren’t keeping their gadgets, appliances, and other gizmos as long as they used to. That’s according to researchers from the Öko-Institut in Germany, which was asked to examine the rate at which consumers replace their electronics products with new units. People replace consumer electronics for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s because a product stopped working; other times it’s because consumers want the newest version of that product. Both reasons are becoming increasingly prevalent. As the Guardian
  20. artiphon

    Pando prizewinner Artiphon takes its futuristic instrument to Kickstarter

    Crowdfunding platforms are chock-full of people exaggerating their own abilities or making their products seem like they can do things outside the realm of possibility. Artiphon’s attempt to raise funds for its “Instrument 1″ does neither of those things. I know this because I, along with several hundred other people, saw a prototype of the Instrument 1 used by a member of Moon Taxi during last year’s Southland festival in Nashville, hosted by Pando. (Insert boilerplate about this…
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The Week in Review

Friday

female-voices-silicon-valley1 Fair warning: Pandoland is not that kind of conference Read all 13 recaps from our sleepless House of Cards marathon Courts deem CallFire a common carrier, setting a major precedent at intersection of telecom and tech law An average season ends on a high note: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 13, reviewed “An empire without heirs.” House of Cards Season 3, Episode 12, reviewed Will Claire jump? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 11, reviewed Facebook now allows its users, not a drop-down menu, to define their genders How Frank got his groove back: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 10, reviewed Kim Dotcom’s Mega is dropped by PayPal over end-to-end encryption, may adopt Bitcoin instead Prepare for war? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 9, reviewed The War Nerd: Why did Mohammed Emwazi become Jihadi John? Has Frank become… boring? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 8, reviewed Twitter keeps Dick Costolo’s promise with new anti-harassment tools Will Frank lose his Lady Macbeth? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 7, reviewed “I should’ve never made you president.” House of Cards Season 3, Episode 6, reviewed SF’s real income inequality issue isn’t hipsters priced out of homes — It’s the homeless What House of Cards gets wrong about Russia: Season 3, Episode 5, reviewed Another episode, another enemy: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 4, reviewed Has Frank Underwood met his match? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 3, reviewed “You are entitled to nothing.” House of Cards Season 3, Episode 2, reviewed Meet President Underwood: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 1, reviewed